Virginia senators push legislation to secure miners’ benefits

Virginia senators push legislation to secure miners’ benefits
The pension plan is expected to be insolvent by 2022, and there are about 7,000 pensioners in Virginia who could lose their benefits if Congress doesn’t intervene.

WASHINGTON — Virginia Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are trying to ensure pensions and health care benefits for coal miners at risk of losing them.

The senators last week introduced the American Miners Act of 2019 along with several of their Democratic colleagues.

Their legislation aims to shore up a 1974 United Mine Workers of America pension plan to ensure that 87,000 current beneficiaries and another 20,000 who have vested won’t lose their pensions, according to the Virginia lawmakers.

The pension plan is expected to be insolvent by 2022, and there are about 7,000 pensioners in Virginia who could lose their benefits if Congress doesn’t intervene, the senators said in a statement.

The Virginia Mercury is a new, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.